Teton County School District

Gillian Chapman wants students and families to have a good Thanksgiving week. She also wants them to make safe decisions.

In an update to families Thursday, the Teton County School District No. 1 superintendent wrote that the district had decided not to mandate that students who travel for the holiday be tested for COVID-19 before returning to school because it had no way to enforce such a rule.

“I would suggest, however, that we all share a level of responsibility in this effort,” she wrote. “I know we will all do our best and make personal decisions that consider the challenges we are facing nationally, regionally and locally as well as taking care of our family needs.”

The district moved to virtual education Monday due to staff shortages because of exposures to the coronavirus. Chapman reported that 65 district employees were out at the end of last week.

The district’s Board of Trustees set Nov. 30 for students’ return to classrooms, and administrators are standing by that decision. However, pandemic conditions change almost daily, so they also are leaving their options open.

Families can expect an email Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving, with an update from the board.

No matter what people’s plans are, Chapman wants Thanksgiving week to be a chance for the district to reset: “I do hope that the break ahead gives everyone a chance to reflect on all the things we are grateful for in a time when it feels like nothing is going right,” she wrote.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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